Agenda item

Tennis in the Park. Application ID: 160570.


The replacement of one existing adult tennis court with one external children's tennis court and one indoor children's tennis court within a new single storey building to be used for indoor children's tennis and other compatible exercise related activities offered by third parties. Includes two new floodlights which are to be mounted on existing poles to light external children's tennis court (amended scheme) – UPPERTON.


17 further letters of objection were reported at the meeting commenting on the following issues:


·    Unsightly

·    Overdevelopment

·    Impact from noise (general activity and from doors and windows opening)

·    Impact from floodlighting

·    The free tennis courts had become neglected

·    Impact upon other park users

·    Difficulty controlling use of building

·    Prevention of quiet enjoyment of home (human rights impacts)

·    Lack of parking

·    Children’s toys spilling out into the park

·    New building could be used as toy play space

·    Other courts should be used

·    Increase in traffic

·    This was a private business in the park and should not be encouraged

·    No sporting changing facilities

·    This was a café for mums and not a sporting facility.

·    May impact upon the ability to host tournaments

·    No need for another indoor tennis facility

·    Character of the park would be adversely affected

·    Breach of their licence in terms of their opening times

·    Increased security threat/risk by creating a blind spot behind the building


The following further information had been supplied by Dr Bloor, local resident:


1) A visual representation of the proposed scheme which was displayed during Dr Bloor’s address.

2) 10 emails of correspondence addressed to Dr Bloor supporting his objection from various individuals.

3) 14 further objections from various individuals on a pro-forma, which included images.  The main areas of concern were as follows:


·    Commercialisation of the park

·    Visual impact car parking

·    Effect of trees

·    Increase risk of crime

·    Child safety

·    Noise issues

·    Nuisance from floodlighting.


4) A document containing further details to be covered during the Planning Committee meeting and summarised as follows:


·    Supports the need for children’s tennis

·    Children’s tennis was noisier than adult’s tennis and the application site was close to residential properties

·    Most neighbours agreed that the western courts would be a more acceptable site due to the distance from residential properties

·    There were significant and multiple errors of fact and omissions from which a valid recommendation should not be made

·    The integrated transport policy stated facilities should be at site of need, i.e. focus on young children should be sited where young children and families live

·    Policy TR6 stated applicants should provide changing and showering facilities for cyclists, which should be provided for all members in the clubhouse

·    Policies TR11 and TR12 required more spaces for disabled in the event of acknowledged parking pressures

·    Child safety had been omitted from report – children were left unsupervised in the park would become more of a problem

·    The area adjacent to the café was used as an unlicensed outdoor children’s playing area

·    The area adjacent to the café was being used as a play-space

·    There had been multiple objections from local people

·    The toys should be kept within the café boundaries

·    Discrepancies with regards to consultation

·    No comment in report about fear of crime

·    Number of disabled parking spaces should be increased as a condition of development


Dr Bloor addressed the committee in objection stating that he was concerned about the potential increase in noise.  There was also concern for child safety.  Dr Bloor suggested that the facility would be better placed on the western side of the courts, further away from the properties surrounding the park.


Councillor Tutt, Leader of the Council, addressed the committee in support stating that the current facilities had renovated and transformed the formerly run down building.  The LTA hold the facility in high regard and fully support the proposals.


Mr Mackie applicant addressed the committee in response stating that the proposals had the backing of the LTA and support of the local community.  The proposals would give young people the opportunity to continue playing tennis through the winter months.  The building would be used as a tennis facility and not as a play centre.  The building had been designed to be in keeping with its surroundings and would benefit the community as a whole.


The committee discussed the points raised and were advised that the relocation to a more western court could potentially cause light pollution for neighbours.  If the current ‘adult’ courts were relocated they would be lit until 22.00pm rather that the 19.00pm for the ‘children’s’ courts proposed on the same site.


RESOLVED: (Unanimous) That permission be granted subject to the following conditions: 1) Time 2) Drawings and lighting assessment 3) Construction method statement – protection of trees 4) Matching materials (to include fencing) 5) Floodlights - hours of operation, 15:00pm – 19:00pm 6) Non-opening roof lights 7) Non children’s tennis uses of new building - hours of operation 19:00 – 22:00 pm 8) The external finish of the building shall be stained timber and retained as such in perpetuity 9) The building hereby approved shall only be used for tennis and tennis related activity and shall not be used for any other purpose/activity (including children’s general play (non-tennis) at any time.



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